Remembering Jay Hageman: A Life Well Lived

None of us know how much time we have left on Earth. What matters in the end are our actions, the memories we leave behind and how we made people feel.

We are deeply saddened to announce that Eastern Illini Electric Cooperative has lost one of its own – Jay Hageman, a member of the board of directors. Jay lost his life in a vehicle accident on October 9, 2018. His many contributions to the co-op, his strong belief in the cooperative principles, and his approach to living life to the fullest will always be remembered.

Jay was a dedicated director who was elected to the Illini Electric Cooperative Board in 1986. He then served on the Eastern Illini Electric Cooperative Board, following the 1987 consolidation, until 1989. He was re-elected to the Eastern Illini Electric Cooperative Board of Directors in 2002.

Jay received many honors during his years of service. He was awarded the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) Credentialed Cooperative Director Certification, the NRECA Board Leadership Certificate, and the NRECA Director Gold Credential Certificate.

Jay was serving as Vice Chairman of the EIEC Board of Directors at the time of his passing. He also served as Eastern Illini’s representative on the Association of Illinois Electric Cooperatives Board of Directors.

Jay made a difference in the lives of many, including EIEC members, employees, and his fellow directors.
“It has hit us hard,” said Debbie Laird, Vice President/Executive Assistant for Eastern Illini. “Jay was a longtime member of the cooperative board. He had a great personality and never met a stranger. He will be missed.”

Jay leaves behind his wife, Tracy, daughter Jenny (Chris) Kirschner, and beloved grandchildren, Dylan and Hadley. The Hageman’s farm near Fairmont. Jay was a graduate of the University of Illinois.

“Jay was an integral part of the Eastern Illini Cooperative family,” said Bob Hunzinger, President/CEO of EIEC, “He had a thorough understanding of the electric utility industry, the co-op business model and a sense of service to all members of the cooperative. I am personally grateful for having had the opportunity to get to know Jay and appreciated his assistance and counsel. We are forever appreciative for his loyalty and dedication.”